Benjamin Mendy rejected Chelsea as he wanted to play for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, says Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev.

The left-back was tracked by the Premier League duo after helping Monaco to the Ligue 1 title and an exhilariting run to the Champions League semi-finals.

Vasilyev claims Mendy was desperate to work with the former Barcelona coach, and would not have left Monaco for Chelsea, meaning the club relented as the France international became the most expensive defender of all time.

“For a while, we held off,” Vasilyev told L’Equipe. “And then, we thought – in spite of the offers that we had had for him and him indicating that he wanted to leave – could he have another season like the last one?

“At first, I said, ‘no, you’re staying.’ He replied: ‘But Vadim, I really want to go to City and link up with Guardiola.’

“On numerous occasions he said to me: ‘If it was Chelsea, I’d stay; but if it’s a chance to work with Guardiola, I want to go.’

“He’d spoken so frankly with me. So, when City met the asking price and when he became the most expensive defender in the world, there were no more arguments to have with him. We weighed up the for and against and said to him: ‘OK, you can go.'”